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Success of a Polish student. Design of a pavilion made of rammed earth awarded!

Dobrawa Bies
24 of March '23

The {tag:studenci}, a student of Architecture and Urban Planning from the Cracow University of Technology, prepared a design work „At the end of Grjótagjá” as part of a foreign exchange at the Politecnico di Milano. The design of a rammed earth pavilion that could be built in Iceland received an honorable mention in the international Rammed Earth Pavilion competition organized by the Buildner platform.

rammed earth pavilion

The Rammed Earth Pavilion competition is part of a series exploring the unique advantages of various building materials. Participants were tasked with designing a pavilion made with rammed earth technology. The location of the structure was arbitrary, and the pavilion could be a temporary, or permanent structure of no more than 50 square meters. The organizers wanted it to be possible to hold an exhibition in its space, on the subject of earth as a building material.

success of a polish student!

Do pawilonu umieszczonego na końcu Grjótagjá prowadzi rampa Lokalizacja pawilonu na Islandii

The pavilion is located at the end of the Grjótagjá caves

© Mateusz Dziuba

Buildner was looking for creative projects that explore the potential of the traditional and sustainable building material earth. He worked with an international jury made up of people with experience in designing and building with rammed earth: Alia Bengana (founder of Alia Bengama Architecte), Dutra Brown (Los Angeles-based designer), Anna-Laura Bourguignon (French-Mexican architect), Tim Krahn (Building Alternatives), Ben Gitai (Gitai Architects), Alex Reed (Los Angeles-based artist), Jesus Edmundo Robles Jr. (D U S T), Kathryn Robson and Chris Rak (Robson Rak), Mattia Pretolani (ALICE and ellipse architecture), Marc Thorpe (Marc Thorpe Design), Laurent de Wurstemberger (LDW Architects, TERRABLOC.

Pawilon na Islandii, rzut

Iceland pavilion, projection

© Mateusz Dziuba

First Prize went to Roger Boltshauserza's design of Kiln Tower for the Brickworks Museum, Second Prize and the Buildner Sustainability Award went to the team consisting of: Farid Younesi, Amina Yusupova, Thanatcha Cholpradit for Hooke Garden. Third Prize went to Oliver Giebels and Alessandra Esposito for their project Hands On! While the Student Project Award went to Florestan Lacroix. Six honorable mentions were also awarded, among which the only one from Poland was the project At the end of Grjótagjá by Mateusz Dziuba, currently studying at the Politecnico di Milano.

Pawilon na Islandii, schemat ideowy

Iceland pavilion, conceptual scheme

© Mateusz Dziuba

minimalist pavilion in Iceland

For the location of his project, Mateusz Dziuba chose Iceland, specifically the Grjótagjá caves area, because, as he says:

The country is one of the few areas with such a wide variety of soils in terms of texture and color. Unfortunately, Iceland is struggling with soil erosion, which is contributing to the gradual degradation of its picturesque landscapes. The pavilion I designed aims to increase knowledge and promote rammed earth construction, as well as raise awareness about the problem of soil erosion. The main idea of the project is the correlation of presence and absence.

Pawilon na Islandii, proces powstawania ścian z ziemi ubijanej

© Matthew Dziuba

The designed pavilion is a minimalist monument built from soil excavated exclusively from the Grjótagjá area. The pit created after the excavation of the earth serves as a ramp leading visitors from the caves to the pavilion. The facility is temporary, and after a cycle of use, the earth used to build it will return to nature again.

Pawilon na Islandii, przekrój

The pavilion in Iceland, cross-section

© Matthew Dziuba

The author took into account the harsh climatic conditions in Iceland, so the earth walls were reinforced with natural lime and nearby stones. In addition, the canopy, foundations and ramp surface were made of reinforced concrete. In addition, the structure was raised 50 cm above the ground to protect it from rain and moisture.

Wnętrze pawilonu, przestrzeń do medytacji

The interior of the pavilion, a space for meditation

© Matthew Dziuba

tranquility and education

The young architect divided the interior of the pavilion into two parts. The first is a transitional space, designed on a circular plan, used for contemplation and meditation. Here visitors can experience the material of the pavilion—for example, feel the texture of the walls. Seating is provided by a seat centrally located under a skylight.

Schemat instalacji znajdującej się w pawilonie

Diagram of the installation located in the pavilion

© Mateusz Dziuba

The second part of the pavilion is an exhibition space. The author separated it from the rest of the pavilion and gave it an oblong shape, and placed a glass installation in the center. Its form is meant to resemble the formwork used in rammed earth wall construction. The installation is divided into five parts—each representing another stage in the formation of the structure from the ground. In addition, around the installation there are boards with information about the technology of making the pavilion and the problems of soil erosion in Iceland.

Wyróżniony pawilon z ziemi ubijanej

The main idea of the project is the correlation of presence and absence

© Matthew Dziuba

Also read about the Iceland Movie Pavilion project by Maja Dziwok and Alexandra Dectot, students of the Faculty of Architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology, which received an honorable mention in international competition.

Dobrawa Bies

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